Sunday, August 20, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 13: The High Priest of the New Covenant

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 13:
The High Priest of the New Covenant
Pastor Bruce A. Shields


SERMON INTRODUCTION
The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels
·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray
·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)
·        Paul’s warning about unbelief
·        A Sabbath Rest for the People of God
·        Jesus the Great High Priest
·        Jesus the Perfect High Priest
·        Therefore, It is Time to Grow Up
·        The Certainty of God’s Promise
·        Melchizedek the Priest
·        Jesus like Melchizedek

TODAY’S SERMON
“The High Priest of the New Covenant”










SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
Hebrews 8
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.
Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said:
“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”



I. WE DO HAVE A HIGH PRIEST SUCH AS THIS
a. Jesus, who sat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in Heaven
                                                                 i. Acts 7:55 “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

                                                              ii. Psalm 110:1b “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”


                                                           iii. Mark 16:19 “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”

                                                            iv. Romans 8:34 “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us”

                                                               v. Ephesians 1:20 “that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand yin the heavenly places,”

                                                            vi. See also; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; etc.


b. Jesus, who serves in the sanctuary
                                                                 i. Jesus is serving as High Priest in the TRUE tabernacle in Heaven


c. The true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by mere human beings
                                                                 i. Earthly tabernacles were built by humans according to God’s specifications

                                                              ii. But as with everything in the Old Covenant, the earthly tabernacles represented (or were a foreshadowing) of the real thing.

                                                           iii. The tabernacle represents Jesus, His ministry, and the real tabernacle which is in Heaven, and where Jesus NOW serves as our High Priest!

                                                            iv. How does the tabernacle represent Jesus Himself?
1. The first part of the Tabernacle was the courtyard, All were allowed there
a. All are allowed to approach Jesus


2. At the front was a bronze altar where sacrifices were offered for our sins which lead to spiritual death.
a. Represents the cross where Jesus the perfect Lamb was sacrificed for our sins which lead to spiritual death


3. Near the bronze altar was a basin filled with water used for ceremonial washing
a. Represents the washing away of the old through the cleansing of the Holy Spirit to become a new creation in Christ, a new creature


4. At the back of the courtyard was a large building covered in animal skins. This was the heart of the tabernacle, when you enter, you would be in a Holy Place. Not everyone was allowed in the Holy Place
a. This is where the Priests burned incense and did other ceremonies. This “Holy Place” is where those who have accepted the sacrifice at the cross (sacrifice at the bronze altar) and was made a new creation by the Holy Spirit (represented by the basin of water for ceremonial washing) were allowed to enter...and ONLY those who did so!

b. In other words, this represents belonging to the Kingdom, or being a “Christian”, a follower of Christ.


5. Inside the Holy Place was a lamp stand made of pure gold to light the dark room.
a. Jesus is the Pure light which lights our way. His presence is that Light Stand! (warning in Revelation to the church)


6. There was also a table of bread with 12 loaves representing the 12 tribes.
a. Jesus IS the bread of life, 12 tribes/12 disciples, taught of the true bread (manna) which came from heaven, Jesus!


7. There was also an altar of incense burning as a symbol of our prayers going up to heaven.
a. When we are in the Holy Place (a Christian follower of Christ), our prayers are heard by God!


8. At the far end was a heavy thick curtain, on the other side was the Holy of Holies, shielding sinful man from the presence of God Himself. Nobody but the High Priest may enter.
a. When Jesus died on the cross, (Matthew 27:51) that curtain in the temple on earth was torn from top to bottom.

b. Why top to bottom?  Because only God in heaven could remove the curtain separating Himself from man because of sin

c. Once Christ died as the perfect sacrifice for sin, He became our High Priest, our sins can now be forgiven, and we can once again have a relationship with our Father in heaven through Christ as our High Priest.


II.      EVERY HIGH PRIEST APPOINTED TO OFFICE OFFER GIFTS AND SACRIFICES AND ACT AS MEDIATOR FOR THE COVENANT WITH GOD
a. And so it was necessary for this one, Jesus, to also have something to offer


b. If He were on earth He would not be a priest
                                                                 i. Because there are already priests mediating the Old Covenant

                                                              ii. They serve a sanctuary that is a copy and a shadow of what is in Heaven


c. This is why Moses was warned when building the Tabernacle
                                                                 i. Because it had to be a perfect representation of the real one in heaven
                                                              ii. The picture of Christ, salvation and a renewed relationship with our Father in heaven


d. Jesus’ ministry is superior to the Old one, since the New Covenant is established on better promises
                                                                 i. The Old only condemns, and shows our guilt and need of saving

                                                              ii. The New not only forgives our sin, but saves us from its penalty


III.   WHY A NEW COVENANT? BECAUSE GOD FOUND FAULT WITH THE PEOPLE
a. If there had been nothing wrong with the first covenant (Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, the Commands) no place would have been sought for another

                                                                 i. Which is exactly what the Old was supposed to do...reveal the fault in people TO themselves!

1. For we have ALL sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)

2. As it is written, there is NONE righteous, no, not one (Rom 3:10)

3. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, therefore death spread to all men, because ALL have sinned (Rom 5:12)

4. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23)

5. God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)

6. So what do we do about sin? if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom 10:9-10)

7. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom 10:13)

8. Afterwards, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17)
b. God said in verse:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God, and they will be my people.

11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

c. By calling this covenant New, He has made the first obsolete


CONCLUSION – and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear

We default to the first covenant by our sinning...we chose the Lord and the second covenant in the Lord.

One day, there will be a judgment and we will all, great and small, stand before the Lord. You will either receive punishment through the first covenant, or eternal life through the second, at after the judgment, the old covenant will disappear, and will we teach our neighbors, or say to one another, “know the Lord”, because we will all know Him!

Next week we will look at Hebrews 9 and the “Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?   

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